FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 18, 2004
South Central Region
Kevin Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org)
NAJAF HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY CENTER OPENS
Najaf, Iraq. The Najaf Human Rights and Democracy Center officially opened
Tuesday, February 17. The Center will provide people in Najaf a way to improve
their lives and those of their children as Iraq moves toward a sovereign
democracy. The Center will support human rights initiatives, as well as
democracy and advocacy training.
More than 200 men and women attended the opening of the Center, which is located
in a former Ba'ath Party building. The former regime practiced systematic
brutality against the Iraqi people. Najaf, as well as many other cities in the
region, has several mass graves. During January, Iraqis discovered another mass
grave near Najaf. An Iraqi recently explained:
"Saddam Hussein did not just destroy our country, he destroyed us as people. We
need to rebuild our own hearts in order to build democracy."
The people of Najaf will now use the building to promote democracy and human
rights. During the Center's opening, Sheikh Khalid Nuamani said:
"God created human beings with dignity. We are here to return to the people of
Najaf their human dignity."
Other Human Rights and Democracy Centers are located in Hilla and Diwaniyah. In
the coming weeks, more Centers will open throughout the South Central region of
Iraq, an area that represents approximately 12 million people.
The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and United States Agency for
International Development (USAID) worked with men and women throughout Najaf to
establish this important Center.
The Najaf Human Rights and Democracy Center represents another important step
forward for all Iraqi men and women. Learning about freedom and democracy are
essential as Iraqis move toward a sovereign, democratic government.